Mar 30, 2010

It's Not What I Can See, It's WHERE

So a quick update about my visit to the neuro-ophthalmologist yesterday, because my eyes are still killing me tonight and I really just want to sleep it off.

I met with Dr. Harrington at TOPROSA and the first order of business was a field vision test, which is standard procedure. Basically you stare at a tiny dot and click a button every time you see a flash of light. When I realized I wasn't clicking very often I figured that I was in trouble, especially when I seemed to be clicking a lot more for the left eye. Back in February when I visited my optometrist for new glasses I had expressed concern about my field of vision going black in the left eye while staring and was told this was normal. Turns out, I was correct in thinking that it wasn't. By the time I had finished the test, almost 30 minutes later, my eyes ached and I knew I had failed that particular test.

Now let me say that I have worn glasses since I was seven and contacts since I was eleven so in all honesty I don't really know what it's like to have clear vision. Every time I started to get fuzzy I just saw the regular eye doctor and got new contacts/glasses. About 2 years ago or so I noticed that my contacts always seemed dirty, no matter if they were a new pair and I even had that sensation when I had my glasses on. This was due to my astigmatism, I was told. Wrong. I discussed this with Dr. Harrington and he said that was classic for papilledema, which is a swelling of the optic nerve caused by the excess spinal fluid built up in my brain - which is also causing my headaches.

He did a few more exams, once numbing my eye with these yellow drops that stung like crazy and then dilating my eyes twice to get a good look at my retina and such. He never told me what he saw, only that he wanted me to have an MRI done of my eyes and I have to take two more field vision tests down at Baylor University Hospital in Dallas. So tomorrow I have the MRI and then Monday I have the other tests. He basically explained everything I already knew about the swelling and we discussed an optic nerve fenestration shunt, which essentially drains the excess pressure from your eye into the fatty tissue behind the eye. From everything I've read it's a very common procedure for pseudotumor patients and pretty easy. If that's the route I take, I'll be anxious to see how much better I can see.

Today my eyes have ached because they strained so much yesterday but I did manage to get my contacts in. Between that and all of the staring at the computer I did today it's no wonder they hurt; imagine the worse sinus headache you've ever had and multiply it by 10 - that's how it feels.

At any rate, that's what's going on now. Thursday morning I have my repeat lumbar puncture and I can't wait. Sweet relief!

Love, KC

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